With the financing rules forever changing, making the process sometime seem insurmountable, we have good news, it can be done! Many of our wonderful clients are indeed first homeowners, and able to have a brand new Cambridge Home built for them.

We got a run down on some of the ways and strategies they used to get their first home across the line with their lenders.

Top Tips

  • Location, location, location. Getting on the property ladder is a good thing, but when thinking about how to best spend your budget, you need to priortise what you want, and how you want to live your life.  For example homes outlying to metro cities, are by far cheaper, and may often only add 15 minutes to your morning commute. You also get a lot more house and land for your money the further out you look.  Is it the Quarter Acre dream or the Quarter of an Hour dream? You can save $100’000’s on a deal by thinking about location.
  • Move in with mum or dad, somewhere you can reduce your weekly overheads or even live rent free while you save for you home.
  • Birthdays and Christmas; start having people around for these occasions, and instead of asking for things, ask for vouchers or cash. If you love road tripping around so gas & food vouchers are handy and provide freedom while you are saving.
  • Get savvy with your hobbies. Hobbies can take up a bit of money sometimes, but they often provide a relaxing outlet making them hard to give up.Find some hobbies or side hustles that can generate money like selling and buying secondhand clothes.
  • Going on Dates: Think outside the box when going on dates or meeting with friends! Instead of going out for breakfast as often pick up a $1 frozen coke or ice cream and find a spot to watch the sunset. Make popcorn movie nights,  make a date night out of trying to bake new and weird things, or every now and then take $20 to time zone and see how long we could make it last.
  • Keep an eye on the market and offers that could apply to you. You’ll only buy your first home once so look at anything and everything you can. We definitely recommend getting someone (like a mortgage manager) to explain all the ins and outs to you before you apply for anything as some grants have hidden nasties that’ll bite you later, so be weary!
  • Co-buying: Think about buying your home, with a partner, parents, relatives or friends, this again will make your budget stretch and funding access grow to get a larger more modern home.
  • Grants and funding. Work with your financer or bank to look at what government grants are available to first home owners and minorities. Also arranging access to your Kiwisaver to contribute to your first home purchase.
  • Remind yourself of the bigger picture. It’s always going to be tough and tempting to throw it into the ‘too hard basket’ but allow yourself to dream. How would you like to set up your new home? How can you live differently or better in a different space? What furniture do you have that you could repurpose in a new space? Get excited about it!
  • Find people that you trust. Your financer – bank or mortgage broker are a critical part of your team,  find someone that will take the time to explain everything to you and go over all our options.  If things get a little messy you want someone in your corner to work through to find solutions and make sure you still have options. The other part of your team is your lawyer, find someone who comes with recommendations and specialises in conveyancing.  The family lawyer your parents had, may not be the best fit when purchasing a property.  Having a good group of people around you that you trust is crucial to making this stressful process as stress-free as possible!
  • Find an agent: If you find an agent that you really like, you can ask them if they will work with you to look through and hopefully buy a home – even if the house isn’t listed with them. This can be helpful because the agent is now on your side fighting for you, rather than the agent being in the middle of the seller and buyer!  Set up trade me property search notifications, so as soon as there is a listing you will be one of the first to know.
  • Negotiate:  Don’t be afraid, if you are buying a house already complete, to negotiate the price through the agent. If you are building, and you want to save money on your project, talk about down spec’ing fittings and fixtures or downsizing the plan with some changes, or even if you can change a plan altogether. This can save you $1000’s off your mortgage! Is there stuff you could do yourself, or even wait until later on, or your next home?


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The Turville plan, part of the affordable series of house plans from Cambridge Homes.